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  • Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED Autofocus VR Zoom Nikkor Lens (OLD MODEL)
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Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED Autofocus VR Zoom Nikkor Lens (OLD MODEL)

by Nikon
86 customer reviews
| 62 answered questions

Available from these sellers.
  • Compact, lightweight 5x telephoto zoom lens
  • Vibration Reduction operation offers the equivalent of using a shutter speed three stops faster
  • VR automatically detected during panning operation
  • Three ED glass elements ensure superior optical performance
  • Nine-blade rounded diaphragm achieves a natural blur for out-of-focus elements
13 used from $599.00

There is a newer model of this item:

Important Warranty Information: All Nikkor autofocus lenses from Nikon Inc. USA include four years of Nikon Extended Service Coverage at no charge. Be sure to look for the Nikon ESC certificate with every Nikkor lens purchase you make.

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Technical Details

Product Description

Product Description


Lens-making is an art--Nikon artisans craft Nikkor optics from the finest materials, taking pride in adding their intellect and technique to bring the world's finest lenses to life. They push the leading edge of lens-making in their effort to provide the "glass" that makes the world's greatest pictures.

AF Nikkor lenses work with Nikon SLRs for optimal performance, even the very latest. The Nikon 80-400mm f4.5-5.6D ED AF VR is a compact, lightweight 5x telephoto zoom with Vibration Reduction. VR operation offers the equivalent of using a shutter speed three stops (eight times) faster. VR is automatically detected during panning operation with two modes of VR: Image plane and Viewfinder. VR for the viewfinder is cancelable to conserve battery power. Three ED glass elements ensure superior optical performance and high contrast even at maximum apertures. Filter does not rotate during zooming. The nine-blade rounded diaphragm achieves a natural blur for out-of-focus elements.

From the Manufacturer

Lens-making is an art--Nikon artisans craft Nikkor optics from the finest materials, taking pride in adding their intellect and technique to bring the world's finest lenses to life. They push the leading edge of lens-making in their effort to provide the "glass" that makes the world's greatest pictures.

AF Nikkor lenses work with Nikon SLRs for optimal performance, even the very latest. The Nikon 80-400mm f4.5-5.6D ED AF VR is a compact, lightweight 5x telephoto zoom with Vibration Reduction. VR operation offers the equivalent of using a shutter speed three stops (eight times) faster. VR is automatically detected during panning operation with two modes of VR: Image plane and Viewfinder. VR for the viewfinder is cancelable to conserve battery power. Three ED glass elements ensure superior optical performance and high contrast even at maximum apertures. Filter does not rotate during zooming. The nine-blade rounded diaphragm achieves a natural blur for out-of-focus elements.

ED glass: An essential element of Nikkor telephoto lenses
Nikon developed ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass to enable the production of lenses that offer superior sharpness and color correction by minimizing chromatic aberration. Put simply, chromatic aberration is a type of image and color dispersion that occurs when light rays of varying wavelengths pass through optical glass. In the past, correcting this problem for telephoto lenses required special optical elements that offer anomalous dispersion characteristics--specifically calcium fluoride crystals. However, fluorite easily cracks and is sensitive to temperature changes that can adversely affect focusing by altering the lens' refractive index. So Nikon designers and engineers put their heads together and came up with ED glass, which offers all the benefits and none of the drawbacks of calcium fluorite-based glass. With this innovation, Nikon developed several types of ED glass suitable for various lenses. They deliver stunning sharpness and contrast even at their largest apertures. In this way, Nikkor's ED-series lenses exemplify Nikon's preeminence in lens innovation and performance.

Nikon Super Integrated Coating ensures exceptional performance
To enhance the performance of its optical lens elements, Nikon employs an exclusive multilayer lens coating that helps reduce ghost and flare to a negligible level. Nikon Super Integrated Coating achieves a number of objectives, including minimized reflection in the wider wavelength range and superior color balance and reproduction. Nikon Super Integrated Coating is especially effective for lenses with a large number of elements, like our Zoom-Nikkors. Also, Nikon's multilayer coating process is tailored to the design of each particular lens. The number of coatings applied to each lens element is carefully calculated to match the lens type and glass used, and also to assure the uniform color balance that characterizes Nikkor lenses. This results in lenses that meet much higher standards than the rest of the industry.

Distance information
D-type and G-type Nikkors relay subject-to-camera distance information to AF Nikon camera bodies. This then makes possible advances like 3D Matrix Metering and 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash. Note: D-type and G-type Nikkors provide distance information to the following cameras: Auto exposure; F6, F5, F100, F90X, F80, F75, F70, F65, F60, F55, F50, Pronea S, Pronea 600i, D2 series, D1 series, D100 and D70s/D70. Flash control; F6, F5, F100, F90X, F80, F75, F70, D2 series, D1 series, D100, and D70s/D70 cameras.

Vibration Reduction (VR)
This innovative VR system minimizes image blur caused by camera shake and offers the equivalent of shooting at a shutter speed three stops (eight times) faster. It allows handheld shooting at dusk, at night, and even in poorly lit interiors. The lens' VR system also detects automatically when the photographer pans--no special mode is required.

VR operation works with the Nikon F6, F5, F100, F80, F75, F65, D2-series, D1-series, D100, D70-series, and D50 cameras.

What's in the Box:
Lens, 77mm snap-on front lens cap, rear lens cap LF-1, bayonet hood HB-26, soft pouch CL-M1.


Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 3.6 x 3.6 inches ; 3 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B00005LEOO
  • Item model number: 1996
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Discontinued by manufacturer: Yes
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: November 14, 2002

Read about our customers' top-rated lenses and cameras on our review pages: Lenses, Digital SLR Cameras, Compact System Cameras

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

470 of 479 people found the following review helpful By Douglas A. Greenberg VINE VOICE on December 21, 2004
Many photographers who purchase telephoto lenses wind up disappointed in their lenses' performance; they achieve subpar results and then swear that the lens is "not sharp." Some lenses indeed might not be optically outstanding, but even in these cases the major cause of soft images, particularly when camera and lens are handheld, is camera/lens shake. People routinely try to take highly magnified photos at shutter speeds that are simply too slow.

Nikon has come up with a (partial) solution to this problem through its innovative "vibration reduction" series of lenses. These optics are designed to compensate, at least partially, for the camera shake/movement that is inevitable when a lens is hand-held. According to Nikon, the VR mechanism adds two or more "stops" worth of steadiness, meaning that a 400mm. lens that previously might be adequately handheld at 1/500 second now will (often) produce good results at 1/125. Out in the field this can make the difference between a successful photo outing and a frustrating one.

Does this technology work, and is this 80-400mm. lens a good product overall? To both questions I offer a qualified "yes." As long as one realizes that VR is not magic and has definite limitations, this feature is definitely worth paying some extra money for, particularly if one's photographic style prevents the regular and disciplined use of a tripod. The other thing about VR to keep in mind is that since camera shake itself is variable, it's a good idea always to take multiple photos to ensure that at least one of them is optimally sharp (a slow-mo record of how much one 'vibrates' while holding a camera would reveal that from instant to instant there is considerable variation).

But what about this lens' performance overall?
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381 of 389 people found the following review helpful By Martin R. Manning on June 14, 2006
This is the absolutely best lens I have ever used but it can also be the most frustrating. After 6 months, with this lens on my D70 most of the time, I have hundreds of magnificent bird and animal photographs including hand held shots in fading light with an effective 35mm focal length of 600mm at f5.6 and 1/100 sec that are razor sharp thanks to vibration reduction. A bonus is that the magnification outweighs the longer focusing distance and you can actually get great close-ups of butterflies etc. As far as I can see you are never going to be able to fault the optics with a 6 Mpixel sensor. The VR technology gives you 2 stops most of the time and 3 stops enough of the time to be always worth a go. But there is a big cautionary tale. The focusing on this lens is slow! It can also get confused and seemingly refuse to focus for no good reason. (You have to refocus on something totally different and then switch back to your subject hoping it is still there!) I have lost a lot of shots while the focus motor is whirring backwards and forwards and then cursed the lens until I see the next really great shot and all is forgiven. It took me about 3 months and 1000 shots to get really familiar with the lens and the shooting techniques needed. On the D70 I generally push the ISO speed up to 400 when I mount the lens to compensate for the narrower f-stop range and I switch to central spot focus to get the best chance of controlling the slow focus problem. For the sort of subjects I like, aperture priority is usually the best approach - sometimes switching to full manual when there is time to set things up. Manual focus is always an option but the D70's "eyes" are sharper than mine so persisting with auto focus remains my preference.Read more ›
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143 of 154 people found the following review helpful By R. D. Smith on March 21, 2005
This is a great lens and takes simply amazing pictures. The results are much better than what you will get with the "plain" 70-300 telephoto lens.

That being said, there are a few things to consider.

1) the lens is expensive. It cost more than my D70 did...

2) the lens is HEAVY. When lugging this baby around, you know *something* is in that camera bag...

3) the focus is SLOW, particularly compared to the 70-300.

However, using the tripod mount as a "handle" (an awkward but effective use of the mounting bracket), I got some shots that simply blew me away given the amount of perceived camera shake. I do not have very steady hands (particularly with something so heavy) so the VR feature is invaluable.

I would recommend this lens, but don't throw away your 70-300 just yet...
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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By idaho dad on March 22, 2007
I used the Nikon 80-400mm lens with my D200 for the first time last week at my kids lacrosse game. Before purchasing this lens, I was a little concerned about some of the comments here that the autofocus is slow to react. I took about 100 pics at the game, and had one that was slightly out of focus. All other pics were incredibly sharp. I think this is a great lens.
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57 of 61 people found the following review helpful By D. Hartman on May 29, 2007
I just bought this lens to get more reach than I could with my 70-200 f/2.8. Let me first say that my 70-200 does not have VR. Normally, my shots with that lens are great. However, the use of a TC with the 70-200 in order to get the length I needed was intolerable. Shots were soft wide open and were impossible for me without the use of a tripod. It is for these reasons that I went to the 80-400 VR.

I use this lens with a D200. As everyone has claimed at length, the focus is slow (and noisy)...perhaps an AF-S version will come out now that I have already spent my $1500.

I have to say that I actually read the (short) manual before I went out with the lens for the first time. During that outing I was able to take very capable shots of my son's baseball game even in fading evening light. Photos were clear/sharp at 400mm and colors were bright and accurate.

Using the focus limiter switch made a great improvement in focus speed. No reason not to use it if you are consistently shooting subjects at greater than 15 feet. The other thing is to use position 1 for the VR. This locks the VR when you depress the shutter 1/2 way. Position 2 does not activate the VR until you actually press the shutter all the way down. I found 2 advantages of position 1: first, you can see the VR effect in the diopter and it gives to a chance to reframe your picture (which you will often need to do) and second, it takes about a second for the VR to lock in.

In short, I am thrilled with the performance of this lens. Yes, it is expensive. However, it is extremely capable. I have about 8 lenses in my collection and have pretty well decided that the glass I will need in my bag for 'everyday shooting' are the following:

50mm f/1.8 AF-D

18-200mm f/3.5-5.
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